Manchester International Festival (MIF) is a vast annual jamboree of the arts, which bills itself as 'the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events.' Global pandemic not withstanding, it's going ahead this year under social distancing conditions, and much of its output will be streamed online, including works especially created for digital viewing.
Among the latter are five new films with a strong dance component, especially commissioned from international artists to present five very different perspectives when what happens post-pandemic, given the huge changes that Covid-19 has brought to our lives and perceptions.
Culture Whisper favourite Akram Khan comes together with French director and animator Naaman Azhari to present Breathless Puppets. This short short film uses rotoscope animation, created by hand-drawing over live-action footage, to tell the story of two men with a passion for dance, who are brought together through the pandemic after being separated in childhood because of the divergent expectations of their respective cultures.
In I'm Not Dead Lola Arias concentrates on a group of people who've been excluded from social life by the pandemic: the elderly and, by extension, their carers. Arias's film follows the daily routine of one elderly person and their carer, and in the process documents an unexpected act of love and resistance.
The veteran and greatly influential American choreographer Lucinda Childs was due to work on a project with Ballet National de Marseille, when travel restrictions got in the way. Instead, Childs began meeting the Ballet’s artistic directors – LA(HORDE) – via Zoom. This short film – Building momentum under lockdown – Lucinda Childs meets (LA)HORDE – chronicles their ongoing digital collaboration and explores how the distances enforced by the pandemic raise unexpected possibilities for creative interaction.
Love Campus ABCD (2019-2021) is authored by the Ghanaian visual artist Ibrahim Mahama and tells the story of an experimental project in his hometown of Tamale, designed to educate, stimulate and encourage young people from communities with high levels of poverty and low levels of education.
Finally singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo brings us the results of her latest, pre-Covid trip to Benin, a film which tells of the daily lives of women in a deeply patriarchal society, where crises such as the current pandemic bring their skills and resilience to the fore.
|What||Postcards from Now – five films from Manchester International Festival|
|Where||Online | MAP|
01 Jul 21 – 18 Jul 21, 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM